Home appliances and master service agreements

Called Sears today to see about getting a “master service agreement” for the stove because, despite being only 3 years old, it’s not keeping temp correctly. Repairing this, according to our trusted appliance guy, could be as much as $300 for the control board that is the likely culprit.

Meanwhile Mom’s stove of the same vintage is having same issue. Hmmm…

My first beef with this is a general “WTF?!” which goes back to the days when we were growing up and a stove lasted pretty much my entire childhood. I think we may have bought one new stove in the 16 years we lived in my house.

You’re telling me that with all this improved technology we have somehow gotten worse at making technological products??


Sears gives me these options for a warranty agreement:

  1. $370 for the service agreement which will last for 1 year and cover up to $500 in parts during that time.
  2. $49 per month ($600 per year) to cover all the house appliances

Stepping back from it a bit, I just get this feeling like the planned obsolescence game has been just about perfected by these folks.

Maybe the disappointment of not having a simple solution is still too fresh for me to think straight, but it feels like they’ve got this scheme working just right so that the stuff breaks right on schedule and you feel like the best thing is to get on a service agreement that has you paying them a nice recurring revenue.

This is probably perfect for a public which seems to have a harder and harder time managing their finances (why self-insure by setting aside the proper funds when you can just pay someone like Sears for coverage?).

Me? I’m going to disagree with the whole thing and set up a set-aside of $50 per month toward this (since that’s apparently the right number according to Sears actuaries).

If we do this right, we’ll have a tidy Appliance Fund which we can use for whatever issue presents itself.

And should we ever become wealthy, maybe I’ll hatch a scheme to make an appliance manufacturing firm that can once again craft quality products that don’t break on a schedule.

Just on principle.